When you were a teenager, you might have kept a diary hidden under your mattress. It was a place to confess your struggles and fears without judgment or punishment. It likely felt good to get all of those thoughts and feelings out of your head and down on paper.
You may have stopped using a diary once you reached adulthood. But the concept and its benefits still apply. Now it’s called journaling. It’s simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. And if you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal is a great idea. It can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health.
Benefits of Journaling:
- Boost your mood
- Enhance your sense of well-being
- Reduce symptoms of depression
- Improve your working memory
- Reducing scatter in your life
- Releasing pent-up thoughts and emotions
- Bridging inner thinking with outer events
- Detaching and letting go of the past
Writing enhances our mental health through guiding us towards confronting previously inhibited emotions, helping us process difficult events and compose a coherent narrative about our experiences.
Consistent journaling can make us more self-aware by helping us detect unhealthy patterns in our thoughts and behaviors. It also allows us to take more control over our lives by putting things into perspective, sometimes helping us shift from a negative mindset to a more positive one.
Journaling is a beautiful and powerful tool for self-discovery.
To help you get started with journaling, try these tips:
- Try to write every day. Set aside a few minutes every day to write. This will help you to write in your journal regularly.
- Make it easy. Keep a pen and paper handy at all times. Then when you want to write down your thoughts, you can.
- Write whatever feels right. Your journal doesn’t need to follow any certain structure. It’s your own private place to discuss whatever you want. Let the words flow freely. Don’t worry about spelling mistakes or what other people might think.
- Write in a place that’s relaxing and soothing. Look forward to your journaling time. Look at your writing time as personal relaxation time. It’s a time when you can de-stress and wind down.
Keep in mind that journaling is just one aspect to manage stress, anxiety, and mental health conditions.
Journaling is not a substitute for professional guidance when mental health conditions are particularly severe.
If you feel you need professional guidance in managing your mental health, our therapists at Life Skills Resource Group are here for you. Please contact us at 407-355-7378